Movie Review: The Descent (2005)

Synopsis: Still grieving her husband and daughter's deaths following a car accident, the thrill-seeking Sarah joins her former friend, Juno, and a group of other women on a spelunking adventure. However, instead of exploring a well-known cavern as they are led to believe, they enter an unexplored cave system, only to have nobody know where they are when they are trapped by a cave in. Making matters worse is they are not alone.

Who's in it? The movie stars Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder and MyAnna Buring.

Review: Given the choice between 60s night at karaoke or staying home and watching a movie my wife (who was tired from 50s night at karaoke the night before) chose the latter and decided she'd pick the movie as well. She decided on The Descent even though she had watched it by herself some time ago. As it turns out, it was a good choice.

Overlooking the fact this is one of those movies that relies on at least one of the characters being extraordinarily dumb, in this case, Juno (Mendoza), to the point she'd put her own life and the lives of others at risk, the plot and execution of this film are solid. Just the basic part of this alone, a bunch of women trapped inside an unexplored cave system, made it interesting. Adding the killer subterranean humanoids to the mix only made it more exciting.

The movie took full advantage of the two main elements it had going for it. You had a steady stream of claustrophobia throughout and since it was dark with various twists and turns, the well-time jumped scares involving the creatures worked.

The human element in this movie also played a nice role as well by keeping things from getting too predictable. Juno was one of those people you just couldn't trust, which was proven on multiple occasions in the movie, while her stressful history with Sarah (Macdonald) made it questionable they could find a way to work together. I also appreciated how the filmmakers managed to do that still kept the movie moving forward without being bogged down with a lot of unnecessary exposition.

Final Opinion: I had some doubts about this film when my wife picked it out, but it turned out to be a good, suspenseful film that I enjoyed watching. I'd recommend it as a result.

My Grade: A 


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